Trying to understand how to get to Sardinia? This post has you covered.
If you’re reading this, it means that you are wondering what is the best way to get to Sardinia from Italy or Europe. That’s great news! That means that you’re in the planning phase of your trip to Sardinia, and I am over the moon for you and your upcoming Sardinian adventures! The Italian island of Sardinia is not just where I was born; it’s a major source of love and pride for me.
Since you’re gearing up for your trip, I’m here to help you plan how to get to Sardinia. As a local, and a fellow traveler, I have taken every mode of transportation under the sun to get back home after gallivanting around Europe. Let’s get right to the good stuff— the flights and ferries to get you to Sardinia! The beaches, mountains, and wineries are waiting for you here.
Background On Sardinia
For a little background, Sardinia is the second-biggest island in the Mediterranean, following Sicily, which is the largest. Sardinia is approximately 162 miles in length and sits 116 miles from the coast of mainland Italy.
Now, without further ado, continue reading to discover how to get to Sardinia.
How To Get To Sardinia By Air: Flights To Sardinia
By far, the easiest way to travel to Sardinia is by plane. It’s the most convenient and the fastest. There are three airports to fly into on the island – Cagliari, Alghero, and Olbia. For reference, Cagliari is the capital city of Sardinia and lies to the south, Olbia services the world-renowned Costa Smeralda region in the northeast, and the Alghero Airport is located in the northwest – you can also take a look at the map I have posted at the end of the post for reference.
Most domestic flights to Sardinia come from Rome. Other domestic flights that route from mainland Italy to Sardinia include Milan, Bari, Turin, Bologna, Naples, Venice, and Verona.
If you’re looking to fly from other cities in Europe, most major airports fly to Sardinia as well, including cities like Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Barcelona, London, Oslo, Stockholm, and Paris – but you may want to look at the secondary airports where budget airlines go. KLM has direct flights from Amsterdam to Cagliari.
The main airline companies that fly direct to Sardinia are Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa, and AirBerlin. Low cost, budget airline companies that fly to Sardinia – some year round, others just seasonally include Easyjet, Eurowings, Volotea and RyanAir.
If you are planning to fly, note that the high season for tourism in Sardinia is the summer. Although Sardinia is obviously connected to the rest of Italy and Europe year round, there are more flights between the months of June through September. Also, it’s important to know that some budget flights only operate from May through October.
Olbia Airport (code OLB) is in the northeast of Sardinia, close to Costa Smeralda. You can get to Olbia city center from the airport by bus or taxi. If you are traveling to Costa Smeralda, you will want to rent a car directly at the airport.
The main airline companies flying direct to Olbia are Alitalia, AirBerlin and Lufthansa. Easyjet is the best choice for a budget flight to Olbia.
Direct flights to Olbia can originate in lots of different European cities, including Zurich, Brussels, Amsterdam, London, and Manchester. Additionally, most major airports in France, Germany, and Italy—around ten different cities in each of the three aforementioned countries!
Alghero Airport (code AHO) sits in the northwest of Sardinia. The airport is connected to the city by a direct bus and by taxi.
Flights are mainly operated by Alitalia, and budget airlines include Ryanair, Easyjet, and Wizz Air.
Direct flights to the Alghero Airport include Geneva, Amsterdam, Brussels, London, and Manchester. There are no direct flights from France, and only three German cities— Berlin, Frankfurt, and Menninger— offer direct flights from Germany. Again, most major airports in Italy provide direct flights to Alghero Airport.
Cagliari Airport (code CAG) is in the capital city of Sardinia, which lies to the south of the island.
The airport is easily connected to the center of town via a direct train – it takes about 7 minutes to get there. You will also find an abundance of taxis outside the arrivals terminal.
Usually, the majority of flights to Sardinia land in Cagliari – known as Cagliari Elmas. Alitalia has the greatest number of flights, which link up to all the major Italian cities and, via Rome, to the rest of the world. Alitalia also offers many daily flights to and from Rome, with a duration of just under 50 minutes, as well as to Milan (either Malpensa MPX airport, or Linate)
The following airlines operate flights to Cagliari: British Airways, Alitalia, Air France, Delta Airlines, Iberian, and Lufthansa. Budget airlines that offer flights to the Cagliari Airport include Ryanair, Eurowings, and Ryanair.
Direct flights from the Cagliari Airport include Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Manchester, Geneva, Zurich, and Berne. The airports in France that service the Cagliari Airport are Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon, and Nantes – keep in mind these cities are all served by budget airlines. Most major cities in Italy and Germany provide direct flights to Cagliari Airport.
How To Get To Sardinia By Sea: Ferries To Sardinia
If your travel schedule allows for it, taking the ferry is definitely how to get to Sardinia. Best of all, if you’re driving from Italy, you can bring your car along for the ride! What’s better than having your own personal vehicle at your disposal to explore the island with complete freedom?
The car-ferry doesn’t leave from Rome, but from the city of Civitavecchia, which is around 50 miles from Rome. After a seven-hour ride, the ferry will drop you off at Olbia, situated on Sardinia’s eastern coast. If you’d rather travel all the way to Cagliari, it’ll take another seven hours, which totals 14 hours on the ferry.
There is another car-ferry departing from Naples that will drop you off in the capital city of Cagliari. The ride from Naples to Sardinia takes around 17 hours.
The other three Italian ports operating ferries that go to Sardinia are Palermo (from which you can take ferries to Cagliari), Livorno (from which you can take ferries to Olbia), and Genoa (from which you can travel to Porto Torres or to Olbia). The most popular ferry operators from Italy to Sardinia are Moby Lines and Tirrenia.
Ferries also travel to Sardinia from France and Spain. The ports in France are Toulon and Marseille and you can also travel from Ajaccio and Bastia, in Corsica. The most popular route is from Marseille to Porto Torres, which takes around 10 hours and is operated by La Méridionale.
The only port in Spain that services Sardinia is Barcelona; the ferry operates from Barcelona to Porto Torress on Grimaldi Lines. The journey takes just under 12 hours.
Where are the ports in Sardinia?
So, I’ve already covered that you can take a ferry to Sardinia from Italy, France, and Spain. However, where can you actually take a ferry to within Sardinia? Luckily, there are plenty of options!
Ferry Ports in the North are Olbia, Santa Teresa di Gallura (which is connected to Corsica), Porto Torres, and Golfo Aranci. The ferry port on the east coast is Arbatax, which is connected to Civitavecchia. Lastly, Cagliari is the arrival port in the south.
Ferries are available year round but run most frequently during the tourist high season between June and September.
Errr… How To Get To Sardinia By Land: Bus, Taxi, Car
Well, it should go without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) Sardinia is an island, so you can’t drive to it. There’s no secret underground tunnel to get to Sardinia (though sometimes we wish there was). you have to travel by water or air!
Final Thoughts On How To Get To Sardinia
I hope this post has brought some clarity on how to travel to Sardinia.
I wish you safe travels on your journey to Sardinia. No matter which route you take, you’ll feel right at home as soon as you set foot on Sardinian soil. Luckily, there are great routes from most major European cities, and lightning-fast flights from Italy, too. However, if you’re able to take the ferry, I hope it’s smooth sailing for you, as it’s always been for me!
Safe travels! Bon voyage! Buon viaggio!
Further readings about Sardinia
Make sure to check out my other posts about Sardinia:
- Where Is Sardinia?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia: The Best Areas And Hotels
- What You Should Know Before Traveling To Sardinia
- 10 Absolutely Unmissable Things To Do In Sardinia
- 15 Great Things To Do In Cagliari, Sardinia
- What To See And Do In Alghero Sardinia
- A Complete Guide To Costa Smeralda
- The 15 Best Beaches In Sardinia
- The Most Beautiful Beach Resorts In Sardinia
- The Most Delicious Sardinian Food: Everything You Must Try
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